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on 31 July 2015
Brilliant! Sucked me in from the beginning
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VINE VOICEon 9 July 2011
I enjoyed the madness and drug fueled haze for the first half of the book, but the found it a bit wearing and ended up giving up before he end. Still 3 stars for the interesting story telling and just being different.
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on 20 January 2016
I know this is seen as a modern classic but I just did not see the appeal. It is an insight into the short-lived Gonzo journalism (a style of writing that mixes subjective experience with objective facts). It first came out in 1971 and is a reworking of real road trips taken by Thompson and his friend Oscar Acosta. It is a drug-fueled adventure made up of two parts encompassing two separate journeys to Las Vegas. There are lots of lurid scenes of drug use and dangerous driving and, if that is your thing, then no doubt it is an exhilarating read. There are some great illustrations throughout the book by Ralph Steadman and these were probably my favourite part of the whole thing. Enjoyment of books is subjective so here are some reasons I think I did not really enjoy it:
1) I read it for the first time in my late twenties. I think it would appeal more to younger readers or those who remember reading it when they were younger.
2) I did not live through the 60s or 70s. I wonder if it has a hint of nostalgic appeal for those who remember this era. For me, it did not give me much of an idea of what 1970s America was like.
3) I have never seen the film. If you have seen the film and enjoyed that, maybe you have stronger connection to the characters and plot. The characters intentionally have no character arc, but that left me completely uninterested in their experiences.
4) I read it straight after reading Fight Club. It just paled in comparison. It was also no challenge to the fantastic On The Road.
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on 19 March 1999
uppers, downers, reds, blues, pink flannels etc. A drug does not exist that has not been consumed between the pages of this book. A scary, funny, funny book... Read it and weep.
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on 3 September 2015
A crazy journey, brilliantly written
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on 14 July 2014
Great value and great book, thanks.
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on 25 March 2016
super book super fast love it
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on 17 January 2015
Hunter S Thompson at his finest
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on 7 November 2013
I admit, I picked up this book with very high expectations. I know it was made into a film (one I've yet to watch), and I know that it is one of those greatly talked about books, but what really pushed me to buy it was the fact that one of my friends spoke highly of it (and I tend to trust her judgments in books). Not this time though.

This may not come as a surprise to many, as I've already reviewed On the Road and was one of the very few people who did not give it a five star rating, but at least I "liked" it, as opposed to this waste of time. I really wanted to get it, and I really wanted to find it funny, and I really wanted to like it - no, LOVE it - but I couldn't. I finished it, out of pure determination if anything, but I still could not find anything amusing or enlightening about this crazed journey. I suppose I am categorized with the few who failed to see the humor in embarking on a journey with a massive amount of drugs in your trunk as you consume excessive amounts of alcohol simultaneously.

I did not expect to relate to his journey, I read it in the hopes that I would feel the way On the Road made me feel, which is to pack my bags and head out for a grand adventure. I read it in the hopes that I would perhaps experience a lifestyle so different from mine, a form of educating yourself so-to-speak. Admittedly, I did read about a completely different lifestyle, but it is not one I wanted to experience, or enjoyed in the least.

Maybe this book was a breakthrough in its time, I will give it that much, but I find it very overrated and a huge disappointment. I will say this though, these kinds of books, I find, are usually a lot better translated into films. I do plan on watching the film, and I suspect I may actually find it amusing, but in my opinion a journey such as this one translated into writing fails miserably.

Finally, I just want to say that it's laughable how many people take other's reviews personally. It doesn't mean anything to me that I don't get "it", whatever "it" is. If we all thought the same way, there would be no point in reviewing books at all.
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on 28 February 2015
Has to be read to be believed.
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